Professor Peymane Adab MD, MPH, MB ChB, FFPH, FHKCCM

Professor Peymane Adab

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Public Health

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 3777
+44 (0)121 414 7878
Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Peymané’s research interests are twofold, including behavioural epidemiology (specifically childhood obesity prevention) and chronic disease epidemiology (focusing on the epidemiology of COPD). She holds major grants in these areas from the National Institute of Health Research, and in the past from the Medical Research Council.

Peymané also takes an active role in teaching, having previously been director of the Graduate Entry Course in Medicine, and deputy director of the Birmingham MPH course.


  • Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health (2007)
  • MD, University of Birmingham (2002)
  • Fellowship of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine (1999)
  • MPH, University of Birmingham (1996)
  • MB ChB, University of Liverpool (1990)


Peymané qualified from Liverpool Medical School in 1990, and after a few years working in clinical medical specialties, commenced her training in Public Health. Following obtaining her MPH in Birmingham, she obtained a post as lecturer in Public Health at the University of Hong Kong, where she worked for 3 years. During that time she developed an interest in academic public health, working on tobacco control and cancer screening.

On returning to the UK and completing her training in Public Health, she took up a post as Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where she has developed her research career, focusing on childhood obesity prevention and respiratory epidemiology.

Peymané holds one of the largest grants in childhood obesity prevention in the UK (link) and has extended this work internationally with similar work ongoing in China, Iran and Qatar. She is also joint principal investigator for an NIHR funded programme grant on COPD (link), which will facilitate the development of a large primary care cohort of COPD patients in the UK (estimated 2000 participants). She also has been involved in the evaluation of a number of public health initiatives undertaken by PCT’s in Birmingham.

VIDEO - Creating fitter communities, Dr Peymane Adab (WMV, 36.7MB, opens in a new window)


Postgraduate supervision

Peymané has successfully supervised 7 PhD students in the last few years, who have moved on to government roles or academic careers. She currently supervises 6 PhD students working in childhood obesity prevention, and COPD epidemiology.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   



Behavioural epidemiology (childhood obesity prevention)
Respiratory epidemiology (COPD)
Health Services Research


Childhood Obesity prevention

This work has developed through two major funded studies: 1) NPRI funded study to develop an intervention for preventing childhood obesity in the UK, focusing on south Asians, using the MRC framework for complex interventions. 2) HTA funded cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the developed intervention. In addition similar studies are ongoing in Qatar, Iran and China, through funded PhD studentships.

Currently we are working on developing the methodology for evaluating a complex childhood obesity prevention intervention. Our team is also researching ethnic differences in childhood obesity.

COPD epidemiology

Peymané’s work in this area is through two major research projects. 1) The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study, on which she is an investigator and 2) NIHR funded programme grant on COPD, where she is co-principal investigator.

Through these projects, we have researched the epidemiology of COPD, examining aetiological factors (particularly those that are modifiable), natural history and prognosis in COPD. We are also interested in improving the definition of COPD and our understanding of what spirometric or other features of the disease determine longterm outcomes.

The research areas of interest include:

Health services research

Peymane has been involved in the evaluation of several PCT led health service initiatives. These have included the evaluation of a new service for diabetic retinopathy screening in Shropshire, the evaluation of Birmingham Own Health (PCT initiative in collaboration with NHS Direct and Pfeizer Health Solutions to deliver a telephone self management service to those with chronic disease in the community), evaluation of Lighten Up (PCT led weight management service for adults with obesity), evaluation of Be Active (initiative developed by collaboration between Birmingham PCTs and Birmingham City Council to enable free access to leisure facilities in Birmingham), and analysis of the National Child Measurement Programme data in Birmingham.

Other activities

  • Member of the West Midlands RfPB research board (2009 to present)
  • External examiner for modules in MSc in Public Health at UWE (2009 to present)
  • Honorary consultant in Public Health, South Birmingham Primary Care NHS Trust (since 2002)


Body image, body dissatisfaction and weight status in South Asian children: a cross-sectional study. Pallan MJ, Hiam LC, Duda J, Adab P. BMC Public Health  2011;11:21

K Jolly, A Daley, P Adab, A Lewis, J Denley, J Beach, PN Aveyard. 2010. A randomised controlled trial to compare a range of commercial or primary care led weight reduction programmes with a minimal intervention control for weight loss in obesity: the Lighten Up trial., BMC public health, 10, 439.

RE Jordan, KBH Lam, KK Cheng, MR Miller, JL Marsh, JG Ayres, D Fitzmaurice, P Adab. Case finding for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a model for optimising a targeted approach. Thorax 2010 65: 492-498.

KB Lam, CQ Jiang, GN Thomas, T Arora, WS Zhang, S Taheri, P Adab, TH Lam, and KK Cheng. Napping is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Sleep, Mar 2010; 33(3): 402-7.

Lam KB, Jiang CQ, Jordan RE, Miller MR, Zhang WS, Cheng KK, Lam TH, Adab P. Prior tuberculosis, smoking and airflow obstruction: A cross-sectional analysis of the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Chest 2010; 137: 593 - 600

Lam KB, Jordan RE, Jiang CQ, Thomas GN, Miller MR, Zhang WS, Lam TH, Cheng KK, Adab P. Airflow obstruction and the metabolic syndrome: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. ERJ 2010; 35: 317 – 323.

R.E. Jordan, J.I. Hawker, J.G. Ayres, P. Adab, W. Tunnicliffe, B. Olowokure, J. Kai, R.J. McManus, R. Salter , K.K. Cheng. The effect of social factors on winter respiratory admissions: A case-control study among older people in the UK. BJGP 2008; 58(551): 400-2

P Yin, CQ Jiang, KK Cheng, TH Lam, KH Lam, MR Miller, WS Zhang, GN Thomas, P.Adab. Passive smoking exposure and risk of COPD among adults in China: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Lancet 2007;370:751-757.